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How to Dispute Removal Company Damages

Katie Cullen
Written by Katie Cullen
15th March 2017 (Last updated on Tuesday 9th April 2019)

If you experience any damages with your removal company, you will need to contact the company directly, as well as checking their insurance and any BAR membership.

Removal companies are often meticulous to ensure your belongings are safe and secure when in transit.

In the unlikely and unfortunate circumstances that you may experience damages to your belongings during your house removals, there are some things you should know first before disputing these claims.

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This article will cover the following points

Are You Insured? BAR Membership Referring to The Property Ombudsman What You Need to Provide Small Claims Court

Are You Insured?

Your belongings may be covered by Goods in Transit insurance if your removal company has specified so in writing, and they have packed your belongings for you.

As standard, all removal companies that are partnered with Compare My Move must be able to provide Goods in Transit insurance.

This will protect you from any damages that occur during your move, and all costs will be taken from the removal company.

If you are not using Compare My Move, be warned that not every removal company offers Goods in Transit insurance, so it is always worth asking before signing any contracts.

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BAR Membership

If your removal company does not provide Goods in Transit Insurance, you may want to check whether they are a member of the British Association of Removers (BAR).

If you have a grievance with a BAR member removal company, the organisation suggests you first confront the removal company first, within one year after the move took place.

The removal company must acknowledge your complaint within three working days of receipt, before conducting an internal investigation into your claim.

Following their investigation, you should receive a formal written outcome within 15 days of the complaint.

If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome, you can contest their decision, which the removal company must then provide a written statement expressing their final viewpoint.

Should you still be dissatisfied with the outcome, you can refer your complaint to The Property Ombudsman (TPO).

Referring to The Property Ombudsman

The Property Ombudsman is an approved consumer dispute resolution body that looks at providing resolution for disputes in the property sector. However, there are a few things you need to consider before doing this:

  1. You should only consult the property ombudsman after you have completed the steps outlined in the section above.
  2. Once you have received your removal company’s final viewpoint in writing, you can refer your complaint to TPO.
  3. You must refer your complaint to TPO within 12 months of your BAR member removal company’s final viewpoint.

A representative from TPO will guide you through the steps proceeding your complaint. Should you need immediate urgent advice, or if you have any questions regarding this process, call the BAR Consumer Affairs Team on 01923 699486.

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What You Need to Provide

While each claim will be different, there are a number of things you can do to support your complaint with a removal company.

Take Pictures of the Damage

It is essential to document damage by taking pictures of all the items that were damaged by your moving company.

Pictures should be taken with good lighting and with a relatively high-resolution camera. Once you have these pictures, make sure you keep all pieces of the item together in a bag.

Document All Contact with the Removal Company

Whether you are contacting your removal company by phone, mail, email or in person, be sure to document all times and dates of when you have made contact.

Write down all dates and times of each conversation and be sure to keep copies of written material from both you and the company.

While you should not necessarily need to use this information unless the issue is not resolved easily, it is good to have this information to hand if required.

Make an Inventory of Damaged Items

Alongside your photos, you should create an inventory of all the damaged items and their monetary value to help strengthen your claim.

It may be difficult to come up with a monetary value for old items, but have a look for any receipts, or their value in shops if still for sale.

Claire Watson, 28th January 2019
"Quick, efficient and friendly service. Everything was moved with care. Great value for money."

Small Claims Court

If all else fails, and you are still unsatisfied with the outcome of TPO’s decision, you may consider taking your claim to small claims court.

You can make a claim online or via a form. Each claim constitutes a fee dependent on the amount of money you are claiming for.

Following the outcome of claiming in court, you will hear whether the defendant will have to pay you or not.

Should you still be happy with your outcome, and the monetary value is under £10,000, the court may refer you to the meditation service for you to come to an agreement with the removal company.

It is worth reiterating that it is extremely unlikely for your belongings to be damaged during a move, especially with Compare My Move.

All our removal companies provide insurance and have been verified as trustworthy companies before partnering with our comparison service..